Like ADHD itself, college life tempts with irresistible distractions and inviting risks, so trying to cope with ADHD symptoms in such an environment might be more difficult than you expect. When a distraction, such as a party, presents itself, and you have a paper to write and a quiz to prepare for, your mom won't be there to keep you on track. But you can employ a few simple techniques that will serve you well and still allow you to partake in much of the fun and excitement that college has to offer.

One deceptively simple technique is self honesty. This requires admitting to yourself that you are unlikely to forgo an evening social activity to study; it is admitting that you intend to perform well and know you can, but will have great difficulty making yourself sit down to do your work, even without distractions; it is admitting that you have trouble getting up in the morning, and are at risk for missing those early morning classes. It is true that you are beginning college with a clean slate, and that anything is possible for you. But recognizing your weaknesses is the best way to keep them from defeating your strengths.

Once you have honestly confronted the challenges to your success, devise a game plan to outwit them. For example, if you know you won't be able to resist those evening dorm parties, plan to visit the library after your classes during the day and get your work done then. Make the evening party a reward for work performed, and don't allow yourself to attend any social gathering if you did not do your work during the day.

Even at the library, or wherever you choose to work, you might find it hard to buckle down. You see a friend, you log into Facebook, or you decide you'll have more energy for schoolwork if you go to the gym first. Begin with the most difficult task, and promise yourself that you only have to do the first problem, or write the first paragraph, or read the first chapter. Only continue if you feel engaged. Otherwise, your promise to yourself won't mean anything next time. Chances are though, that you will feel engaged and energized to continue. If not, at least you made a little headway.

If you can't for the life of you get out of bed in the morning, try to avoid registering for early morning classes. If that is not possible, get a loud alarm clock that you place far enough away from your bed that you must get up to shut it off. Set it so that you have enough time to get ready and eat a little something before class. Promise that you will reward yourself with a nap later in the day, and keep the promise.

Lastly, be fully present in whatever moment you have chosen for yourself. If you are at a party, don't spend it stressing about schoolwork. If you are writing a paper and hear laughter coming from down the hall, take a few deep breaths, count to ten, and remind yourself that you have chosen this time to focus on your paper.  Mindfully choose your activities, and always honor your choices.

The ultimate outcomes of any life changing process vary significantly by person, given our different needs, skills, limitations and experience. But there are some basic things that you can expect from a career coach whether in or outside of our practice.

Career coaching is a partnership that is designed to help people assess their options and is a place where they can also make important decisions about the direction of their career.  A career coach starts by asking a series of questions designed to address skills, abilities, job experiences and goals. These questions are also used to determine qualifications for potential positions, and to understand the personality of the client. After recording the answers and thinking about them, it is a career coach’s job to talk to the client about his or her strengths and weaknesses, and discusses the desired goals.

Sometimes a career coaching client comes in knowing exactly what field they want to enter. Other times clients have no idea what they want to do. In other situations, clients want to continue what they are doing, but want to do better, move into leadership roles or improve their work-life balance. Career coaching is designed to be flexible and is able to adjust for all of these scenarios.

The coach is the primary motivator and encourager, providing clients with mentoring, motivation and accountability and fills two needs for an individual.  One is the experience and knowledge they have in finding new careers. The second is to personally motivate an individual and keep him/her on track.
The client should set one or more goals, ranging from goals climbing the corporate ladder to attaining a position with more authority to a goal of pursuing higher education. These goals are intended to ultimately place the client in a career which he or she genuinely enjoys, and they often include a variety of assessment tests to determine personality and aptitudes. Once the goals are set, client and coach talk about a time line for achieving them, and the partnership moves to the next stage. The career coach’s job is to offer encouragement and advice by providing tips on the best way to apply for specific positions and hold mock interviews to relax and prepare the client.

Through expertise in career development and labor markets, the coach get the most out of people’s qualifications, experience, strengths and weakness into a broad perspective taking into consideration their desired salary, personal hobbies and interests, location, job market and educational possibilities.

Among a lot of other things, a career coach can administer and interpret assessments and inventories to assess work values, interests, skills and competencies and help identify alternative career options for people in transition that capitalize on individual knowledge, skill and ability profiles. Coaches and clients also collaborate to help develop specific career paths with experience, knowledge, abilities, and skills defined. Coaches can also help clients overcome issues such as lack of self-confidence, and their fears of success/failure and work with the client to create career development plans to help employees grow and learn.

A career coach’s job is, ultimately, to be a knowledgeable, unbiased and objective partner to the client who wants to change or is experiencing job stress, job loss or transition for other reasons.

By Jayson Blair

Standing in the front of the coffee table last night, I picked up my phone to check the news and saw the headline. Robin Williams was dead at the age 63. I clicked on the link with a mindset that some horrible accident must have happened. Perhaps he died of a tragic illness that took his life early, like cancer. I was right about the tragic illness, it appeared. I had just picked the wrong horrible disease.

Early reports suggest that Williams, the actor and comedian known for his standup and movies like “Good Will Hunting,” “Patch Adams” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” died of asphyxiation, most likely caused, according to the Marion County, California sheriff’s office, by suicide. That Williams suffered from drug addiction I knew from his standup. What I did not know was that he suffered from the same disease that ailed me, bipolar disorder.

In a 2006 episode of “Fresh Air,” the NPR radio show, Williams told host Terry Gross, “Do I perform sometimes in a manic style? Yes. Am I manic all the time? No. Do I get sad? Oh yeah. Does it hit me hard? Oh yeah.”

According to news accounts overnight, Williams’ spokeswoman, Mara Buxbaum, said that he had “been battling severe depression as of late.”

I sent a text to several friends who could relate, either because of their mental illness or their addictions. To one message with a friend who also has bipolar disorder, I wrote back, “Shame. For us at least. Hard to say whether it was for him.”

My comment may have seemed callous, but my friend knew what I meant. He wrote back, simply, “I agree.” The truth is that while it may be hard to understand why another person takes their own life, if you’ve been on the brink of that choice, you understand, as Kay Redfield Jamison, a professor of psychiatry who also has bipolar disorder, put it in the title of her book on suicide that ‘night falls fast.’

There is no question, as one commenter put it, that suicide is an insidious choice due to the lies that depression tells us. When those thoughts persistently and pervasively bombard you day in and day out or when they come out of nowhere like a drone attacking in the night’s sky, they can tear you down to the shreds of yourself, wither your resolve and leave you gasping for breath. The only way you see to stop the suffering is to end your life. People say that’s when suicide happens - when people listen to those voices, but I find that to be a metaphor that leads to gross over-simplification – you have little choice about whether you can listen to those voices. It’s your actions that hang in the balance.

By all accounts, Williams made every effort to seek help. By his own account, he spent 17 years clean and sober between 1986 and 2003. He described an addiction to cocaine and was a frequent partner, he said, alongside John Belushi, who died in 1982. Williams said on the show “Inside the Actor’s Studio” that the death of his friend and the birth of his son. “Was it a wake up-call?” Williams asked. “Oh yeah, on a huge level. The grand jury helped too.”

Bipolar disorder, I find, is such a benign phrase for such a terrible disease. It certainly has much less stigma attached to it than its preceding name, manic depression. But manic depression more aptly captures a disease that slams you from what can be a painful high to a crushing low, sending you up again often into a vice where both mania and depression, not mutually exclusive conditions, can squeeze you at the same time in a powerful vice. Too often, in an effort to show people how well those with bipolar disorder can function in life, we minimize how damning the disease can be for the sufferer.

Williams said that he relapsed via alcohol in 2003 while working in a small town in Alaska. In 2006, he checked himself into a substance abuse rehabilitation in Oregon. Williams’ addiction garnered much attention, but his struggle with the underlying conditions, as is true for so many people who get sober, did not. Williams’ co-stars on the set of “The Crazy Ones” said that he appeared so healthy this spring. It is a testament to how deceptive these diseases of the mind can be to the outside observer.

“He seemed to have this aura about him,” the actress, Marilu Henner, told USA Today. “But you don’t really know what lies beneath. It makes me so sad that it came to this.”

But like Williams, we all have many faces. His, at times, masked another solider in a silent army, fighting a secret war that their friends, family and admirers might not always see. Instead of focusing the very real sadness of his suicide, I want to raise a glass to Robin Williams – of something non-alcoholic, as a recovering addict myself – and hold a parade in his honor, for fighting this terrible disease for so long. He may not have made it through the battle, but his effort can be an inspiration for the rest of us to fight.
 By Lisa Krull

Lisa Krull
The other day, a fellow coach asked how my prior consulting experience influenced my perspective and ability as a coach. Hmmm, I thought. Has it? As coaches, we love powerful questions and this was a good one.

In general, I’m used to answering the more common question of how I made the transition from consulting to coaching. I get that question frequently from individuals contemplating a career change, and it has become an easy answer.

After earning my coaching certification, I kept my job as a full-time consultant and started small in my spare time—doing pro bono work, coaching other new coaches and being coached in return (a bartering type of arrangement), and finding an unpaid part-time internship to add experience to my resume. When the timing was right from a personal and professional standpoint, I took a leap of faith and haven’t looked back.

Sure, there’s coaching value that can be gleaned from this response (e.g. being proactive, building your resume, identifying the right timing, practicing your craft, etc.). But the question of how consulting has influenced my perspective and ability as a coach required much more thought. After several days of pondering, I found that it’s also a more fruitful response.

Overall, consulting taught me nearly everything I know professionally. I supported at least five different government agencies and multiple departments within those agencies. I also worked as an internal consultant, providing human resource support to senior leaders. Consulting afforded me the opportunity to gain countless skills—some of the most important being customer service excellence, networking, entrepreneurship, teamwork, patience, assertiveness, project/time management, and presentation skills.

As it turns out, these skills have quite a bit to do with my ability to coach individuals. Here are some examples:

Customer service excellence – As a consultant, I would lose my customer if I wasn’t meeting (and striving to surpass) his expectations. If I’m not sure what will make my client happy, I need to ask questions and become very clear about the end goals before I complete a project that misuses money and resources. Budgets get cut, organizations re-align, missions get changed – and it’s the consultant’s job to go with the flow and deal with unexpected challenges. Similarly, as a coach, I ask powerful questions and help clients identify solutions tailored to their unique needs. I’m not focused on my agenda—I’m focused on my client’s agenda. I continually ask clients what I can do to better support them, how I can be a more effective coach, and whether they’re seeing benefits from our coaching partnership.

Networking (and being proactive!) – Consultants build their network of colleagues, managers, and clients within and across organizations to land new project work and extend/maintain current work. And they actively keep in touch with those individuals. Networking is probably the most important skill (aside from customer service) that every consultant needs to demonstrate to be successful. Likewise, career coaches help their clients learn to network so that clients find the right jobs more quickly and efficiently. Let’s face it—the days of and are long gone. Research demonstrates that about 70%-80% of available jobs aren’t even advertised! How are 100% of individuals going to get hired when they are sitting behind a computer emailing job applications out for only 20%-30% of the job openings? The successful jobseekers learn to network to gain meaningful employment.

Teamwork – In consulting, teamwork is essential to uncovering solutions to difficult problems, meeting tight deadlines, and getting the job done. It requires that all members hold each other accountable and respect each other as individuals so that space is created for idea generation. In coaching, teamwork is an important part of establishing a trusted coach-client relationship. A coach helps empower the client to create solutions to problems and challenges him to think in new and different ways. If you didn’t think a team of two could be effective, just look at peanut butter and jelly, bread and butter, or a hamburger and fries!

Entrepreneurship – In consulting, you use entrepreneurial skills to help your clients find novel solutions, develop business models, identify their brand, create work plans, and acquire project resources. As a coach, I use entrepreneurial skills to help clients think outside the box, create goals and action plans, and practice marketing/selling themselves to hiring managers or other leaders.
Through 11 years of consulting, I’ve seen organizations grow and shrink. I’ve experienced budget surpluses and budget cuts. I’ve spent time traveling and sitting in a cubicle. Recounting these experiences, I know that I will use my consulting skills for the rest of my life. Consulting has made me a better and more effective coach, and for that I am grateful.

Tell us what you would change about your life if you could change your career, and win a chance at free career testing.

Career testing is a great way to figure out your passion and your purpose. At Goose Creek Coaching we are committed to doing just that. We utilize several assessments to help clients determine what they want to do with their lives. While tests do not give us all the answers, they do offer clues to help client's figure out their interests, skills and work-life preferences. The winner will be provided with a full MBTI Career Report, which includes the results of the Strong Interests Inventory combined with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator report.

To win free career testing and a session with one of our career coaches, contact us using the form on this page and tell us how you think you could benefit from career testing and what you would change in your life if you could move into a new career. One winner will be selected by September 1 and we will follow their career change -- using a pseudonym to hide their true identity -- here on our blog.

It costs nothing to enter this contest and all you have to do is submit your answers using the form on this page. Our staff will review the answers and will select a winner sooner afterwards. Please submit your answer by September 1!
Career coaching should never just be about getting a job. It should be about finding your passion and your purpose. At Goose Creek Coaching, our career coaching is focused on helping people do just that. As someone involved in career coaching, life coaching and mental health coaching at the practice, I have three assessments at my disposable for those who are trying to find a road map for a rewarding work life.
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Career coaching should never just be about getting a job. It should be about finding your passion and your purpose. At Goose Creek Coaching, our career coaching is focused on helping people do just that. As someone involved in career coaching, life coaching and mental health coaching at the practice, I have three assessments at my disposable for those who are trying to find a road map for a rewarding work life.
- See more at:
Career coaching should never just be about getting a job. It should be about finding your passion and your purpose. At Goose Creek Coaching, our career coaching is focused on helping people do just that. As someone involved in career coaching, life coaching and mental health coaching at the practice, I have three assessments at my disposable for those who are trying to find a road map for a rewarding work life.
- See more at:

Laid off? Looking to climb the corporate ladder? Unsure about whether you have found your passion at work? Returning to work after having a child or recovering from a disability? 

One of the most difficult parts of returning to work, beginning to work or making a career transition is learning how to handle interviews. Most people do not realize that there are several different interview approaches and styles that employers can use to help determine the best candidates. Often these approaches are based on internal corporate culture that a career coach can help you identify and orient you toward.

There are four main types of selection interview approaches. Employers often use a combination of all of the above. 

  • Traditional interviews tend to be the most widely used technique. In these interviews, employers ask questions that pertain to a job and your qualifications. The interviewer often asks about what you would do in certain hypothetical situations similar to those that might arise on the job. An employer often asks similar questions of all candidates in these situations in order to compare them and distinguish them from each other.

  • Behavioral interviews are based on the idea that past performance and actions to predict how a candidate will perform in similar situations in the future. You might be asked questions that are designed to illicit information about previously demonstrated capabilities, personal qualities and weaknesses. In traditional interviews, questions are often open-ended and hypothetical. In behavioral interviews, questions tend to be focused on your performance in an actual situation. For example, in a traditional interview, an interviewer might ask, “How would you handle a disagreement with a peer on your team?” In a behavioral interview, the questioner might ask, “Tell me about a time when you worked on a project where team members disagreed.”

  • Case interviews, often typical in management consulting and analytical positions, focus on hypothetical situations that can be ambiguous. The purpose is to test your analytical and problem solving skills in assessing the situations and developing a solution.
  • Technical interviews, common in science and technology positions, focus on solving actual problems that potential employees could experience on the job.

Preparing for traditional interviews often focuses on your work history while behavioral interview preparation often involves learning how to use the STAR framework – Situation/Task, Actions and Results – to provide answers that give interviewers a solid idea of how you will perform in a situation. Case interview preparation often involves familiarizing yourself with the employer and having a strong grapse of standard techniques, probabilities and statistics. Case interview preparation often involves making sure you understand the situations, that you can think logically about the problem, that you can structure your response and have an innovative and concise conversation. Technical interviews often involve studying the core knowledge base of the field.

Not knowing the type of interview you are likely walking into is likely to harm your ability to succeed. Learning about each type leaves you prepared for virtually anything that can be thrown at you.

In addition to the selection interview approaches, prospective employees need to be able to develop skills that allow them to send the right message through a variety of different styles of interviewing, including face-to-face interviews; panel interviews; videoconferencing and Internet interviewing and mock interviews (in our company, prospective coaches are often asked to coach a client in front of a panel of employees). Preparing for these types – including the surprises – can be difficult without the help of a seasoned professional.

Our career coaches specialize in being able to sort out the different types of interviewing skills need for specific positions and how to best convey your skill set in each medium.